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The Other Side of the Emergency – Managing Data Restoration

Backups receive a great deal of attention in disaster recovery planning. Creation of a backup schedule, identification of critical data, and even setting up off-site storage and potential remote locations for operations all factor into a successful disaster recovery plan.

But how much attention are you paying to the other side of the equation? Can you be sure that you can reliably restore your data in a timely and thorough fashion? After the emergency is not the time to find out.

Testing is crucial at all times. Just like a fire drill, you should know that you can get your data from a “backup” state to a “restored” state successfully, without any unforeseen headaches or complications. You should incorporate testing scenarios for different types and sizes of data on at least a quarterly basis—if not monthly—to be 100% confident in your restoral strategy.

Worth noting is exactly how long it takes you to resume normal operations. How long does a simple data restoration take? How about a simulation of a server going down, or a crucial piece of hardware such as a router? Being able to provide realistic estimates of time until normal activities resume will reassure your clients and employees that your efforts are within your expected tolerances, and remove the uncertainty of “how long?” from the equation.

It is worth noting that your restoration phase does need to incorporate a certain amount of common sense. Obviously, in the case of infrastructure damage or power interruption, there are very clear indicators at what point you can resume normal operations. But with other “disasters” the resolution might not be so clear. A ransomware attack must have the attack nullified via hardware changes and/or software updates before you restore operations. Virus attacks need to be 100% confirmed as resolved before you bring your affected machines out of quarantine. Being able to resume operations is key, but making sure you and your enterprise are safe from the emergency must remain the priority.

NSC Information Technology Group had experience with all phases of disaster recovery and can assist you with everything from planning, to a full restoration. Contact us today for more information.

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